Gary, one of our ubu Team members, has enjoyed taking part in the men’s health and mental wellness awareness-raising Movember events in previous years; Gary explained how he got involved and wanted to share his story… “I’ve supported charities such as Prostate Cancer UK over the years, but when my mates suggested we took part in Movember, we thought it would be a good laugh and we might raise some more money for charity and help other men to be more aware of the issues.
Six of us took part, although it soon became an unspoken competition to see who could grow the best facial hair. We were able to have several laughs at each other’s attempts through the patchy stages of growth.
However, for us, there was a more meaningful reason we all wanted to take part in this. A close friend, who was also taking part, has previously had several battles with cancer. Throughout it all he has continued to be an optimistic, hardworking and funny guy. We were doing this to show him our support.
Over the month I spoke to other people who were taking part and it was a great conversation starter. It got other men I work with and spend time around, talking about the need for all of us to be more open about our feelings and our physical and mental health.
Between the six of us last year, we raised just over £400 for the Movember charity and I even became partial to my new-grown facial hair!
What is the Movember Movement?
The Movember movement exists to help men live happier, healthier, longer lives and is currently driving over 1,250 men’s health projects
November is the month each year, when men all around the World, choose to take part by growing a moustache to raise awareness and funds for improving men’s health - which specifically includes issues we sometimes find tough to talk about - prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention.
It’s an alarming fact that globally, on average, 1 man dies by suicide every minute of every day and in UK, 75% of suicides are by men. The issue of suicide and how we get to such lonely and sad states is incredibly complex. But what we do know is that by working improving overall mental and emotional health and wellbeing and by helping men establish better, more honest and open social connections the risk of suicide can be reduced
So what can we all do?
Why not organise a get-together and/or raise much-needed funds for men’s health?
This Movember, any chance you can get together with mates is a chance to raise much-needed awareness and funds for men’s health or support each other.
Why not cook up a fancy dinner? Go to or take part in a sporting event together? Have a ‘Mo’ party? Or set up a ‘Shave Down’ – a group shave-off of facial hair to get the month started?
Most importantly take time to…
Talk openly and honestly
Ask if they are alright
Listen to what your mate is saying
Encourage taking some action
Check-in with someone you trust